Both are known for having difficulties in the past few years, however it seems that Toyota may soon take the top spot away from General Motors for the most sales in 2012. This is even though Toyota had to recall over five million cars, trucks, and crossovers last year, half of which were due to a problem with the window switches which could short-circuit and catch fire. GM also had to recall a large amount of their vehicles due to the fact that there was a transmission defect meaning that vehicles could move on their own accord and potentially cause accidents.
In 2011, Toyota’s sales dropped by 31 per cent due to the fact that they had to stop production after the damages caused by the devastating tsunami and earthquake in Japan and the consequential flooding in Thailand where many of their parts are made. The company lost $3.5 billion and also faced law suits due to the fact that some makes of Toyota vehicles were suddenly accelerating and causing accidents, meaning they had to compensate those affected leading to even more losses.
The motor trade industry will be surprised to hear then that even with all the problems Toyota faced last year, they managed to increase sales by 22 per cent, selling 9.7 million units across the globe. The best-selling car was the Toyota Prius, where in California alone over sixty thousand units were sold, which is seventy eight per cent more than in 2011. This will come of interest to motor traders who are thinking in expanding their portfolios to include more hybrid cars, and even though they are not as popular in the UK as in the US, it may be wise to invest in electric vehicles and motor trade insurance now in order to beat the rush.
Meanwhile, GM managed to sell 9.26 million vehicles last year, whilst Volkswagen sold a record 9.07 million, which is up over eleven per cent from the year before. This shows that competition amongst the three is extremely heated, and it will be interesting to see who ends up on top at the beginning of next year.